Wood is such a versatile product. Not only does it have a multitude of uses in everyday life, it also provides us with one of humankind’s most basic needs, heat.
There was a time during our “economic boom” when many people lost interest in firewood, and oil or gas heating ruled the roost. However, since we’ve all had a bit of a wake-up call, firewood has made a comeback and wood burning stoves are being installed more and more. And it makes sense. Wood is a natural fuel, and by using it, you stay in touch with nature and learn to appreciate your energy use. There is such satisfaction from going out and creating your own fuel and then enjoying the heat from that fuel. It is so convenient nowadays to just thoughtlessly hit the boost button on the oil heating and it can be very wasteful. Many times, people aren’t even thinking about what they are doing. As soon as the oil heating switches off, you can feel the house cooling down and you have to hit that boost button again. For me, personally, a house heated by oil rads versus a house heated with a wood burning stove is like comparing cheap white sliced pan to warm, freshly baked brown soda bread. There’s just something so wholesome about a wood fire…it is so satisfying to sit back, watch it glow and drink in its warmth.
Yes, it takes more time. Yes, it takes more effort. But it is worth it in so many ways.
If we put as much time and brainpower into preparing for winter (5 months) as we put into preparing for Christmas (12 days) then we would be on the right track. Norway is a great example of how a country rich in oil and gas resources still respects and depends on firewood for domestic heating. From our experience on trips to countries like Norway, firewood is like a religion. So much so, that books and TV shows have been made there simply about firewood. A 12 hour TV special in Norway, most of which showed just a wood fire burning down, being rekindled and tended to was watched by 1 million people. Norwegians plant trees when a new child is born with the intention that those trees will be used by that child in the future as firewood. It is an often used phrase that “good firewood is like money in the bank” and in Scandinavia this is really put into practice. Harvesting firewood is appreciated as one of humankind’s most primitive, yet important, life sustaining activities. It takes time to train this mentality into people but you have to start sometime! We need to do more long term thinking.
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